Federally mandated rebates for prescription drugs in Medicaid were expanded significantly – by $38 billion – under the new health reform law, with extraordinary financial, administrative, and compliance implications for pharmaceutical manufacturers, Medicaid health plans, and state Medicaid programs.

In a new journal article, I explain changes to the Medicaid drug rebate program and implications for drug makers, health plans, and states. The article appears in the June 2010 issue of the peer-reviewed journal American Health & Drug Benefits.

The article provides a primer on the basics of the Medicaid drug rebate program, including Average Manufacturer Price (AMP), Best Price, federal rebate agreements with drug manufacturers, supplemental rebates, Preferred Drug Lists (PDLs), reporting of drug prices by pharma and biotech companies, and drug utilization reporting by state Medicaid agencies.

The article then summarizes the major changes effective for 2010, notably (1) increased minimum federal rebate percentages for brand and generic drugs and (2) extension of federallly mandated minimum drug rebates to Medicaid drug utilization in Medicaid managed care organizations. It concludes with a brief discussion of implications for states, drug makers, and health plans.